Front-runners mow down foes on turf 18 live racing days in August to give grass course a workout

August 04, 1993|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

Expect to see plenty of grass races at Pimlico this month.

Front-runners on the turf excelled at Pimlico Race Course yesterday when the track opened for 18 days of live racing during August.

Management plans to make full use of the grass course, scheduling three turf races yesterday and planning three grass races-a-day for the rest of the week.

"We won't be able to keep up the three-a-day schedule, because this turf course isn't as resilient as the one at Laurel," said Lenny Hale, vice president of racing. "But we will use it a lot. We get a 10-day break during Timonium before we come back in September, so it will get a rest then. And we don't have to worry about running the Maryland Million here this year," which will be run Oct. 9 at Laurel.

Yesterday's turf winners ranged from heavily favored Bea Silver in the fifth race to 9-2 shot Zeb's Game in the seventh race to 8-1 long shot Palace Revolt, who won the featured $25,000 Whimsical Stakes in a mild upset over Suspect Terrain.

The three winners had one thing in common -- all are front-runners who were at home on firm turf.

"I wouldn't say the course is hard, and it's certainly not soft," said Mike Luzzi, who rode Palace Revolt for his 11th Maryland stakes win this year. "It is just kind of nice right now. But speed is definitely holding up."

Palace Revolt ducked in and hit the rail in the stretch, but still had enough left to hold off Suspect Terrain's rapid late rally by a neck.

The turf races have been filling well, aided partially by the closing of the grass course at Philadelphia Park, which has been shut down this month because of wear and tear. Philadelphia-based trainers Bob Camac, Bob Connors, Bruce Miller and Jonathan Sheppard had grass horses entered at Pimlico yesterday.

Opening day went well, especially for a Tuesday. A total of $1,034,016 was bet in Maryland on the nine Pimlico races as well as $677,752 at out-of-state outlets. Another $337,677 was bet in Maryland on 10 races simulcast from Monmouth Park. Total handle exceeded $2 million.

Pregnant Wood So returns

Wood So only beat one horse in her first race since the Jan. 1 Interborough Handicap at Aqueduct yesterday when she finished seventh in the sixth race.

But trainer Katy Voss said the 6-year-old mare, who has earned $487,910, is on schedule for another try in the Maryland Million. Wood So is in foal to the stallion Homebuilder on a late April cover.

Voss said she has campaigned a number of in-foal fillies and mares, such as stakes horses Bishop's Fling, Catabias and Still Dark, and none suffered ill effects.

Miscellaneous

Pimlico trainer Joe Tuminelli suffered a heart attack while walking a horse yesterday morning at the track and is in the intensive care unit at Sinai Hospital. . . . One Pimlico patron, who did not want to be identified, cashed a Double Triple ticket at the track yesterday worth $79,441.80. . . . Reisterstown owner Carolyn Peatt lost her 5-year-old gelding, Royal Keepsake, yesterday when he fell and broke his left for leg during the third race. The horse was destroyed. Jockey Frank Douglas suffered a bruised leg in the fall.

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